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Degree Options & Requirements

Environmental Humanities MA or MS Option

The Environmental Humanities Program offers either an MA or an MS; choose your degree when you apply to the Program. The primary distinction between the two Master's degrees offered by the Program is that the Master of Arts degree requires standard proficiency in an approved language, while the Master of Science degree requires students to complete three research methods courses approved by the EH Director of Graduate Studies.

  • MA - You may enter the Program with standard language proficiency roughly equivalent to one year's college study of a foreign language, or learn a new language while you're enrolled in the Program.  You may demonstrate language proficiency a variety of ways to meet the requirement.
  • MS - Any course that uses a defined research method to create an original product counts toward our requirement. Methods courses span the catalog. Since our students' interests are varied, we do not publish a set list of courses that count toward the requirement. For example artists, historians, geoscientists, social scientists, environmental educators, field ecologists, and park professionals choose very different courses of study.

Required Courses

Students must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours, comprised of 27 hours of coursework and 6 hours for thesis, or project preparation.

These courses, including thesis hours* must be successfully completed by all students:

  • EHUM 6101 (3) Foundations of Environmental Humanities
  • EHUM 6102 (3) Field Methods in Environmental Humanities
  • EHUM 6103 (3) Ecology of Residency for Fall 2021 cohort
  • EHUM 6804 (3) Tertulia - 1-credit discussion/reading group for the first three semesters
  • EHUM 6970 (6) Thesis Research - For thesis or project research, *not exam preparation

At least 9 credits among these 3 repeatable courses:

  • EHUM 6105 (3) Environmental Humanities Writing Seminar
  • EHUM 6850 (3) Issues in the Environmental Humanities Seminar
  • EHUM 6860 (3) Practices in Community Engaged Learning

These courses provide a core understanding of theoretical and research perspectives represented in the Environmental Humanities, as well as an enriching cohort experience for students in interdisciplinary environmental studies.

Final work requirements

Students must complete a final project or thesis; in special cases, a final exam may be allowed in lieu of a project or thesis.

  • Thesis

Students who elect the thesis option often plan to continue their academic work, post-EH. Thesis writers are required to complete a minimum of 27 hours of course work and six hours of thesis credit. During semester three, students prepare a thesis prospectus in consultation with his or her adviser and the supervisory committee, and after approval, file appropriate paperwork and a copy of the prospectus with EH. During the final semester, a public presentation and defense of the thesis is required. Once the student has made the revisions suggested by the supervisory committee, the student has an additional 6 weeks to submit their properly-formatted thesis, including Final Reading Approval forms to the Thesis Office. Thesis writers should be very familiar with the Handbook for Theses and Dissertations and Pre-Defense to Publication Checklist for Graduate Students.

  • Project

Students who select the project option are required to complete at least 27 hours of course work and six hours of thesis credit and completion of a creative or applied project.  Students prepare a project prospectus in consultation with his or her adviser and the supervisory committee, and after approval, files appropriate paperwork and a copy of the prospectus with EH. A public presentation and defense of the project is required in the student's final semester. Once the student has completed the revisions suggested by the supervisory committee, and the chair of the committee has signed final paperwork, students must submit both an electronic and bound copy of the project to Environmental Humanities.

  • Exam/Non-thesis/Non-project

In special cases, students may elect the exam option to meet graduation requirements. Those students must complete at least 33 hours of course work and pass a comprehensive examination administered by the supervisory committee. Election of the non-thesis option must be made and approved by the supervisory committee prior to the completion of 24 hours of course work. The comprehensive examination consists of a six-hour written examination and a two-hour oral examination or defense. The written examination will test the candidate's knowledge and understanding of the theoretical foundations of humanities-based inquiry of environmental phenomena, the major methodological approaches in humanities-based research, and the research literature in the candidate's area of specialization.

Last Updated: 3/19/21